Canada’s Maddie Szeryk rolls into LPGA Tour return after Texas Women’s Open win


Checking her email regularly has paid off for Canadian golfer Maddie Szeryk.

The native of London, Ont., who resides in Texas, was going through her inbox three weeks ago when she noticed a message from the organizers of the Texas Women’s Open reminding her that there was still four days left to sign up for the tournament at Grapevine Golf Course. 

Seeing that it would be a great opportunity to tune up before she returned to the LPGA Tour, she decided to register.

“I wasn’t playing enough tournament rounds so I was like, ‘I need to do this,'” Szeryk, who lives fewer than 60 kilometres from Grapevine, Texas, said Wednesday. “It was perfect that the deadline hadn’t passed or anything, the timing worked out, I could stay at home, and my boyfriend was on the bag.

“It was just really good to see some solid golf again, and just to get comfortable out there.”

Originally schedule for three days, the Texas Women’s Open was reduced to two because of heavy storms in the area. Szeryk started the second round two shots behind leader Hailee Cooper. 

After a bogey on No. 17, she hit a wedge shot to get within 10 feet of the 18th green and drained the putt for the tournament-winning birdie.

Szeryk won US$17,000 and, perhaps more importantly, sharpened her game ahead of this week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, N.J. It will be her first LPGA Tour start of the season, after she was unable to maintain her status from last season.

“I feel like I’m getting on a roll and scrambling better and just playing more solid and just making it come together,” she said. “You can play games and stuff when practising and playing by yourself but it’s just not the same as tournament golf and the pressure of that.

“So it’s good. I just tried to really treat (the Texas Women’s Open) as a big tournament just trying to play and get comfortable again.”

Szeryk is one of five Canadians that will be playing at Seaview Bay Course when the tournament begins Friday.

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., is seventh on the Race to CME Globe standings. Savannah Grewal (76th) of Mississauga, Ont., Maude-Aimee Leblanc (129th) of Sherbrooke, Que., and Hamilton’s Alena Sharp (132nd) are also in the field.

“I love playing out here and getting to see all my close friends again,” said Szeryk, noting that she was especially excited to practice and possibly play alongside good friends Lauren Hartlage and Amanda Doherty. “It was so fun to be out there with them again and just to see other friends that I’m close with and just the feel of like, ‘OK, this is a big tournament this is really real. 

“I’m just so excited to finally be back this year, my first one of the year.”

Szeryk may have more LPGA Tour events in June.

She’s the first alternate for the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich., and will play in the Dow Championship at Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich.

EPSON TOUR — Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., will be the highest ranked Canadian playing at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship when it tees off on Friday. She enters the tournament as No. 98 on the Epson Tour’s points list. She’ll be joined at Battle Creek Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich., by Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont., Vancouver’s Leah John and Kate Johnston of Ayr, Ont., all of whom are unranked.

PGA TOUR — Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., has moved up to 30th on the FedEx Cup standings, making him the highest ranked Canadian on the PGA Tour. He’ll be back in action this week at the Memorial Tournament, one of the Tour’s signature events. Five other Canadians are in the field at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Nick Taylor (34th) of Abbotsford, B.C., Mackenzie Hughes (40th) of Dundas, Ont., Corey Conners (45th) of Listowel, Ont., Adam Hadwin (48th) of Abbotsford, and Adam Svensson (94th) of Surrey, B.C., will all tee it up.

PRESIDENTS CUP — U.S. team captain Jim Furyk announced his assistants for the Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal Golf Club in late September. Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard and Kevin Kisner will all join Furyk in Montreal

“The three of them have a tremendous history with this event, but more importantly, they will be trusted voices in the team room and on the course for our guys,” said Furyk. “I look forward to working with them closely as we build a 12-man U.S. team that is ready to compete at Royal Montreal this fall.”

KORN FERRY TOUR — Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., is ranked 18th on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour’s points list. He’s the top-ranked Canadian playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C. He and Sudarshan Yellamaraju of Mississauga, Ont., will play at Carolina Country Club, while Etienne Papineau of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., and Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., will be at Thornblade Club.

CHAMPIONS TOUR — Calgary’s Stephen Ames is ranked second in the Schwab Cup points list heading into Friday’s American Family Insurance Championship. He’ll be the lone Canadian playing at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison, Wisc.